Bewick, Thomas, was born near Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1753, his father owning a colliery. He showed a taste for drawing, and was apprenticed to Beilby, an engraver at Newcastle. He spent a year in London, but returned to the north in 1777, and became Beilby's partner. His famous History of Quadrupeds appeared in 1790, and established his reputation as the ablest wood-engraver of the day, and an artist of rare observation, skill, and humour. The History of British Birds was published in 1797, and he also illustrated in connection with his brother, John, the works of Gay, Goldsmith, Parnell and Somerville. His last complete work, AEsop's Fables, came out in 1818. He was engaged in conjunction with his son upon British Fishes at the time of his death in 1828. His work was appreciated from the first, and has steadily grown in estimation and value since his decease.